While it can be a complex and confusing field to navigate, we’ve gathered together some of the best gaming desktop PCs out there for a range of different budgets and needs – from casual player to graphical enthusiast.
Usually, when looking for a desktop gaming PC, most would suggest that the smart approach is to purchase all the individual components yourself and assemble your very own rig. Not only do you finish with a unique computer of your own creation, but a custom build allows you to adapt to your own needs – and often save a bit of money.
For a while, however, the soaring cost of graphics cards meant that buying a pre-built rig was actually the better way to go. Plus, you didn’t have to worry about that intimidating feeling of tinkering around with expensive components. Now that things have settled a little, both ways a certainly viable once again, so if you do go for one of these pre-built PCs you could get more bang for your buck this way, while safe in the knowledge that your new gaming PC will be ready to go from the moment it arrives.
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You don’t actually need to fork out a crazy amount of money in order to get a reasonable gaming rig – especially if you don’t play anything too demanding and aren’t fussed about bumping everything up to the most extreme graphical settings. Say you’re on a budget and enjoy the odd game of League of Legends, a few rounds of Hearthstone or a handful of matches on Fortnite, then this set-up is perfect.
There’s a decent 3.7Ghz AMD quad-core processor, a capable 2GB Geforce GTX 1050 and 8GB of RAM that’ll run the average game on medium settings with ease. You also get a decent chunk of space from a 1TB hard drive that comes with Windows 10 Home pre-installed. All of that for less than £550 is a bargain for an entry-level PC.
Jumping up now to the mid-range desktop PCs, this rig from Acer is ideal for enthusiasts looking to get a bit extra out of their games. Sporting an Intel i5 processor, a 3GB Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics card, 256GB SSD and 1TB worth of HDD storage this PC has a perfect balance between value for money and raw power.
You could also consider this rig VR-ready but it definitely rests at the lower end of the scale, so if you’re looking to pair a PC up with the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive then it would be worth considering one of the more powerful builds below. Still, for 1080p / 60fps gaming on medium to high settings this is more than capable of the job.
Chillblast Fusion Sorcerer 2
With the Chillblast Fusion Sorcerer 2, we’ve hit the quintessential mid to high-end rig. An AMD Ryzen 5 processor, 6GB GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card and 16GB of RAM are all quality components capable of excellent performance across all current triple-A titles. Perhaps the biggest draw with this set-up, though, is the 250GB SSD. That’ll boot Windows in a matter of seconds and drastically improve load times for any games installed on it. For any other less essential applications, there’s 1TB hard drive included too.
The price shows that this is one to consider if you’re stepping up into some serious PC gaming, but should comfortably keep you future-proofed for a good couple of years yet.
Cyberpower i5 Z370 Gaming PC
Another excellent mid-range option is the Cyberpower i5 Z370 Gaming PC, which offers a good even balance across CPU, GPU and RAM to comfortably run even the latest games to a decent spec. The i5-8600k processor is top of the tier running at 4.3Ghz, while the 4GB Geforce GTX 1050 Ti offers a slightly beefier version of the stock card. Sadly, there’s no SSD included, but it would be very easy to add your own to support the already healthy 1TB worth of storage.
If style is of importance to you too then the Corsair Red Carbide case is a beauty and far from the weird angular monstrosities that ship with many gaming PCs. It looks clean and slick, not like it’s some alien vessel about to land by Devils Tower.
OMEN by HP 880-170na
Now here’s something if you’ve got a significant chunk of money to spare. The OMEN by HP 880-170na is packed full of extremely high-end components, including an unlocked six-core Intel i7 processor, 8GB Geforce GTX 1080 and 16GB of memory. It’ll run absolutely anything you throw at it a breeze, so it’s perfect for running the latest games at the highest quality, all the while streaming them on Twitch or jumping into VR!
Combined SSD and HDD storage once again give you the bonus of rapid boot times and load times with enough extra space for a healthy Steam library. Everything is kept nice and cool inside the case too with fans and liquid cooling to maintain top levels of performance. The OMEN by HP 880-170na is designed to be upgraded easily as well, although with the parts in this two grand beast you won’t need to for some time yet.
There’s a wide range up there for you to pick from so once you’ve made your choice all that’s left to do is to get those installers running and game on!